A quantitative analysis of European port governance
Faculty of Applied Economics
Maritime economics & logistics. - Basingstoke, 2003, currens
, p. 178-203
University of Antwerp
The ever-changing environment in which ports operate has put strong pressure on the role of port authorities. The evolution of port governance has so far mainly been analysed in qualitative terms, through expert knowledge and case studies. This article fills a research gap in providing a quantitative analysis of port governance in Europe, using data from a major survey, which the European Sea Ports Organisation carried out in 2010 to prepare a new edition of its 'Fact-Finding Report'. These reports have been monitoring port governance diversity since the 1970s. The 2010 survey was based on a new conceptual background, which takes into account the evolution of ports, as well as new perspectives on the role of port authorities. This article provides a quantitative assessment of the survey results, identifying elements that may explain the governance diversity of European seaports. This is done with the help of factor analysis. The results confirm the existence of different types of port governance models in Europe, which to some extent correspond to the hypothetical typology according to which port authorities can be conservators, facilitators or entrepreneurs. Differences are mainly geographically defined and the subdivision in Hanseatic, Latin, Anglo-Saxon and new Member State port authorities proves to be a valuable one. In addition to this geographical explanation of diversity, the analysis also detects different governance practices between small and large ports.